The TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards turn 21 this year. And like all good 21-year-olds, it's received an oversized key, downed a yardie, taken a good hard look at itself and emerged into adulthood with a snazzy new 'Everything Marketing' brand and eight new categories.
The awards are owned by Tangible Media, which, in conjunction with the Marketing Association and Image Centre Group's enagagement agency &some, have given things a big shake this year up in an effort to acknowledge the complexities of the modern marketing landscape and position the awards as more inclusive and accessible.
The eight new categories bring the total number of categories to 23, with the supreme award rounding out the list.
Six of the new awards acknowledge specific business sectors: Technology, Financial & Banking, Utilities/Communications, Lifestyle/Travel/Leisure, Automotive and Sponsorship, which aims to acknowledge a very important ingredient in the marketing mix that isn't often formally recognised.
Most Authentic Brand has been modified to Marketing Leadership and Sustainability and Emerging Business/New Brand have joined the Judges' Choice category, along with new Insight Award, which rewards the most inspiring use of customer insights. The winning entrant may, for example, have used feedback or research data to optimise marketing performance, designed a product or service in fulfillment of a customer need, increased customer loyalty and retention, enhanced overall customer satisfaction, or maximised profitability.
The final new award, the Marketing Excellence Award, aims to acknowledge long-term strategy and sustained success, so the winning entrant needs to demonstrate how adopting a marketing strategy for a period of three years or more drove business growth in their organisation.
&some's Mike Pepper says the new branding and collateral aims to give the awards a more professional feel and the new positioning is based on best practice from around the world.
"If you look at all the other awards, they have a very strong brand identity. Each year the theme might change but the award has an enduring position and brand."
And that's where the umbrella strategy of 'Everything Marketing', which he hopes will be much more than a one -year thing and still allows for different themes to be implemented, came from.
As the breadth of marketing discipline increases and elements like data, design and digital become more important, Pepper says the awards aim to enable a wider range of businesses to enter and showcase their work within the context of their industry.
They also represent a shift towards recognising marketers who have helped move the industry forward in new ways. And this is in keeping with the MA's manifesto to add some gravitas to the profession and ensure more marketers get to sit around the boardroom table.
"Increasingly, marketers are being asked to find ways to bring consumers into the business," MA's chief executive Sue McCarty says. "They're not just at the end of the line any more. They're all the way through the line. And the awards celebrate the strategy behind the ideas and recognise the crucial role marketing plays in modern businesses, right across the customer lifecycle."
Entries are now open and must be submitted by 5pm on Friday 18 May. Winners will be announced on August 30 at Auckland’s Langham Hotel.
&Some's executive director Mike Hutcheson emphasises the need for agencies to help their clients compile their entries if possible, because, besides the opportunity to bask in the reflected glory of a win, the Marketing Awards bring a particularly unique offering to the awards circuit (check out a few tips for crafting winning entries here).
“Other awards ceremonies have a tendency to reward individual ads or creative executions,” he says. “And while there’s certainly a place for that, what the Marketing Awards do is celebrate the strategy that enables these ideas to be born.”
And they also celebrate the the fact that whether it be new packaging, an ad campaign, a brand extension, a sponsorship, or a digital feedback loop for the call centre, all of it is guided—and paid for—by the country's marketers.
- Entry forms for the 2012 TVNZ NZ Marketing Awards can be downloaded at everythingmarketing.co.nz.
Big ups to sponsors TVNZ, Colmar Brunton, Fairfax Media, University of Otago Business School's Department of Marketing, Morton Estate, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, BrandWorld, Boston Digital, &Some, Hypermedia and Mailshop.